Joe Gomez does not enjoy coming up against Mohamed Salah in Liverpool training.
The Reds defender has told the Premier League YouTube channel about his struggles facing Salah after returning from injury rehab.
Gomez also admitted to getting “twisted inside out” by Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
“Some days it’s long,” said the 24-year-old when asked how it is to face the superstar Egyptian, Salah.
“If you’re not up for it you’re gonna get twisted inside out by Mo, Sadio, Bobby, all of them.”
Gomez was injured on international duty for England in November 2020. He missed the whole of the resulting season. Having returned to training in pre-season, Mo made sure he was kept on his toes.
“Imagine early rehab, pre-season, my first sessions back and trying to get up to speed and then Mo… it’s difficult,” smiled Gomez.
“But that’s why we’re here, that’s why all of us in this team aspire to be at Liverpool.”
What else did he say?
Gomez covered a range of different topics during the interview. One of those was to pick his fantasy 5-a-side team.
Having already plumped for Liverpool teammate Virgil Van Dijk in defence, Gomez was struggling to decide who to choose up-front.
Stuck between Salah and Arsenal icon Thierry Henry, Gomez decided to side with Mo.
“In the present, I think the things that Mo is doing, we’ll look back on and be like “it’s unbelievable”,” he said.
“I feel like sometimes things aren’t appreciated until they’re gone. I have to go and sit next to him in the dressing room after this so I’ll say Mo!”
A wise decision, Joe!
Still getting tested
It’s a good job Gomez is staying sharp in training because, from his point of view, it has been a disappointing season on the pitch so far.
The Londoner has only started four games in all competitions for Jurgen Klopp this campaign. His four substitute appearances in the Premier League amount to a paltry 16 minutes.
At 24-years-old, that isn’t enough game time to continue his development. Gomez played a lot of football as a young player, but long-term injuries in his early 20’s are threatening to derail the big potential that he has.
However, facing players of the quality of Salah every day in training means that his level should hopefully remain high. Even if he was playing on matchdays, he’d be unlikely to face a better player than Mo this season anyway.